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Mortlake South Wind Farm has provided an opportunity for people to work in construction locally, and not have to travel to Melbourne or further afield. This has also given people that are new to the construction industry a chance to get their foot in the door and learn skills that will pave the way for additional employment opportunities and a long-term career.
Construction at ACCIONA’s Mortlake South Wind Farm is well underway, with the last of the 35 turbine foundations poured this week, and blades and towers due to arrive onsite in the coming months.
With all this activity, the project has seen an increase in the number of workers engaged to build the project, and during peak construction phase there will be as many as 150 workers directly employed.
With ACCIONA and its subcontractors preferring to utilise local employees, the flow on effect for job seekers in the Mortlake and surrounding area has been obvious.
“Local people that previously had to leave the area to get work have now been able to secure employment locally on the project”, said Mortlake South Wind Farm Project Manager Andrew Tshaikiwsky.
“On this project, 92% – 93% of the workforce during civil construction have been local, coming from areas such as Purrumbete, Cobden and Warrnambool”.
“The project has provided an opportunity for people to work in construction locally, and not have to travel to Melbourne or further afield. This has also given people that are new to the construction industry a chance to get their foot in the door and learn skills that will pave the way for additional employment opportunities and a long-term career, following the finalisation of this project.”
Construction of wind turbines hasn’t been the only thing keeping employees busy on site. Since construction started in March 2019, the project has also achieved a number of key milestones, including;
- Construction of 18kms of the access track network, which connects the wind turbines and allows for vehicle and machinery access.
- Upgrading 9kms of public roads, including widening Chamallak Lane and Grinters Lane, sealing 2.3kms of Tapps Lane, upgrading the bridge on Tapps Lane crossing Stony Creek and improving the intersection of Terang-Mortlake Road and Tapps Lane.
- More than 100,000 hours have already been completed on the project.
The focus over the coming months will be to continue the electrical works. RJE Global started the Medium Voltage Reticulation works in January. These 33kV cables link the wind turbines to the onsite substation. Construction of the onsite substation on the corner of Tapps Lane and Chamallak Lane is well underway, with electrical works are expected to be complete in July 2020.
The project has also received the planning permit for the 220kV underground transmission line that connects the Mortlake South Wind Farm to the Terang Terminal Station. “Going underground shows ACCIONA’s commitment to community, and a great outcome for the local area,” said Mr Tshaikiwsky.
Construction activities will commence from Tapps Lane within the Mortlake South Wind Farm construction area in mid-February, with staged works progressing towards the Terang Terminal Station.
Whilst 2019 saw lots of activity at the project site, Mr Tshaikiwsky commented that “2020 is shaping up to be an exciting and productive year for the project. By the end of the year we will have a wind farm that will generate enough clean energy to power 115,000 houses. It’s certainly a project that I know I am proud of, and so too are all those who have worked directly and indirectly on it. Opportunities within the renewable energy industry are endless, and we are proud to have contributed to employment and economic growth for the local community.”